Survey of SOL employees generated hundreds of responses
Between late autumn 2020 and early spring 2021, the shop stewards and PAM asked SOL employees how they were getting on at their workplaces. The survey was sent to all PAM members and we asked employees to share the survey with employees working for SOL.
The majority of respondents were PAM members. Answers to the survey could be given in Finnish or English.
The majority of respondents (28.8%) have worked for SOL for between 2 and 5 years. One in five respondents have been working for the company for as much as 10 years or more (21.9%).
In particular, the following areas for improvement were raised in the survey (click on each headline to read more):
1. Lack of appreciation, supervisor’s work and unequal treatment
2. Mistakes in wage payments
3. Bodily waste bonus
4. Amount of work and working hours allowed for it
Employees were fairly equally split on their experience of appreciation or lack of it. Over half of respondents (around 53.5%) feel that their employer appreciates their work, whereas 46.5% experience a lack of appreciation.
Of the respondents who felt that their employer appreciated their work, around half reported that employees’ opinions are listened to. Employees feel that they receive appreciation through feedback and thanks, among other things, and they feel that their employer is present.
Receiving appreciation from a supervisor is important and this has a big impact on employees’ wellbeing at work, and especially on motivation and coping at work.
Of those who experience a lack of appreciation, around 70% consider that their employer doesn’t take any notice of employees’ opinions. For almost 80 per cent, lack of appreciation is reflected in impaired work motivation and over 70% of respondents have considered changing jobs.
“I would improve communication between the employer and the employees.”
Workplace issues affect coping at work for over half of respondents. For around one third, workplace issues affect how they cope in their leisure time too. In the spaces for own comments, supervisor-employee relations are identified as problematic in areas including lack of training, time or information.
“More training for supervisors, especially in sensitivity to the workers under them. It isn’t pleasant if supervisors speak negatively about the workers under them in the presence of others and belittle their illnesses/need for occupational healthcare, for example. Also training on workers’ rights and upholding these, because it seems these are easily forgotten if their own bonus is at stake."
“There’s nothing wrong with my employment itself, but at the supervisor level there is. Our supervisor forgets things all the time and doesn’t follow up. We always have to chase up supplies, and if something breaks it’s hard to get it fixed. Often our supervisor doesn’t answer messages, especially if there’s no easy answer to them.”
When mistakes in wage payments were asked about, it emerged that over half of respondents have had mistakes in their wage payments over the past year. According to the respondents, the majority of mistakes in wage payments have to do with missing working hours, but also the bodily waste bonus as well as additional hours and overtime.
One in three report that mistakes in wage payments are repeated each month.
Employers are obliged to pay wages correctly and on time. That’s why it’s recommended that employees check their wage slips and check with their supervisor that their pay gets corrected. If this doesn’t happen, do the following.
What would you change at your workplace if you had the power to do so?
“Wages would be paid correctly.”
It is worrying that over 70% of respondents report that they are not paid a bodily waste bonus for cleaning faeces, vomit or blood indoors.
In accordance with the collective agreement, the shop stewards have agreed locally with the employer that the bodily waste payment at SOL Palvelut Oy is 17 euros per waste item.
Verifying bodily waste with a photograph is the basis for payment of the bodily waste bonus, so do the following:
1. Take a photo of the bodily waste that shows where the waste is and send the photo to your supervisor. Add other possible details as instructed, e.g. in a hotel the room number etc. Clean the waste in accordance with the instructions given for cleaning bodily waste.
2. Enter that day’s bodily waste in the timesheet.
3. Check your payslip to see if all bodily waste payments have been made. These are itemised under bodily waste bonus (eritelisä / 17 euros each). Keep photos and messages until the bonus has been paid.
4. Ask your supervisor if he/she wants bodily waste to be reported in some other way in addition to the instructions above.
5. If you despite the above mentioned actions are not paid the bodily waste bonus, please contact your shop steward (in case you are a member of PAM).
Share a flyer, by which you ensure that your workmate also will be paid for cleaning bodily waste!
“Bodily waste bonus hasn’t been talked about. It’s not mentioned.”
Almost 34 per cent of respondents feel that work shifts are not long enough to do the allotted work tasks. One employee in three says that their working day is longer than the hours in their roster either every day or several times a week. For 28% of respondents, working days are longer some days in a month, whereas 25% report that the working day is never longer.
“We encourage employees to contact their employer the same day if their working hours are not enough to do the allotted tasks. This is then also a notification of working hours being exceeded and therefore wages must also be paid for the excess time. It is the employer’s responsibility to demonstrate how the work can be done in the time allowed”, the shop stewards say.
“There are too many tasks to do in the working time allowed. The quality requirements are just too demanding. There’s no way I can do everything I should. Help has been promised many times, but it’s always the same excuses and there’s never any sign or word of help.”
SOL campaign brings employees together around shared objectives
Based on the survey, over half of respondents are prepared to recommend PAM membership. Some are also willing to participate in employee meetings and to be contact persons between the workplace and the shop steward.
“As well as getting new members, it is important that activity at the workplace increases and that the members of the workplace work together to promote things that are important for them”, say the shop stewards.
The next information on the results of this survey will be given in the SOL working community and we will give employees guidance on the bodily waste bonus.
A big thank you to everyone who responded to this survey!
Kind regards, shop stewards
Kaisamari Sahlman, Taija Seiloo & Janne Forsman